It IS More Fun in the Philippines! (Boracay & Beyond)

It’s been a minute since I’ve checked in mostly because I needed a mental break from recapping. I needed to live in the moment; smell, listen, breath, feel, love, and mourn.

You know that place you mentally check into when you’re stressed or you feel like you’re going to crack? You know the one – the deserted beach in an exotic location with a fruity cocktail in your hand and clear turquoise water inviting you to step right in? That’s the Boracay dream we lived. At the end of three travel weeks, various beds and bathrooms, and after constantly being on the go, we checked ourselves into a sanctuary that is the Shangri-La Boracay. We lived in our villa, really only leaving to explore how many forms of water we could swim in on the premises. Why leave when you’re in Heaven? More to come on our Boracay stay later.

Like anywhere you travel, there’s an automatic bond that’s formed based on the adventures you experienced, the people you met, the food you enjoyed (or didn’t, ahem.. balut), the mishaps, and the moments that are blissfully indescribable to anyone else. It’s the secret travel handshake.

So why take the mental break – and mourn – after  leaving paradise?

This past two weeks have been difficult to say the least. Beyond the physical recoup your body needs post-across the world trip (and from a bout of food poisoning) and the time it takes to get your internal clock back on track, being back in NY has been emotionally challenging due to super Typhoon Haiyan that ripped apart sections of the Philippines A DAY after we said goodbyes.

Here we were living the dream among the nicest, most welcoming locals I have ever met and a day (hours) later their homes are in the sea and family members are unaccounted for. What? When the news was spilling in about the mass devastation the Philippines had just suffered, my heart broke. There’s no comprehending the dichotomy here.

The best I can do from here is send my thoughts, prayers, love, and donate as much as I can. What is encouraging is to see the New York community come together yet again in times of tragedy. There have been relief benefits almost nightly and tons to come – here’s a pretty comprehensive calendar of events to check out. If you haven’t done so already, I urge and plead you to give what you can to those with nothing left.

When the time is right, we’ll be able to share our memories and properly reflect on our Philippines journey, but until then – Kapit Lang, Pilipinas.

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